As militia groups backed by the Saudi-led coalition tighten their grip in Yemen, foreign minister Riad Yassin has ruled out talks with the Houthi Movement and their allies unless they lay down their arms. The country could be witnessing its most intense battle since the war started as pro-Hadi forces prepare for a major crackdown on the capital Sana’a “within eight weeks.”
Yassin told reporters in Cairo, after meeting Arab League secretary general Nabil Elaraby, that the recent meetings held between the Houthis and U.N special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in Oman was just for “consultations” for the Security Council resolution calling the rebels to lay down their arms to be implemented. He said “the Houthis and Saleh’s militias” should abide by it before “dialogue and political process can begin, with the participation of all Yemeni parties.”
At the beginning of the week, former president Saleh, accused of being an instigator in the ongoing war, called for “a reconciliation of the braves” between conflicting parties in order to end fighting in all the provinces.
The U.N resolution voted in April also calls for the withdrawal of the Houthis from military and state institutions and the foreign minister reiterated that it is “the only solution that is on the table, there is nothing else.”
The morale seems to be high in the pro-Hadi camp after several successive battle victories and Yassin hinted that “many things are happening which will lead to the retaking of Sana’a,” the country’s capital, with the offensive expected to begin “within eight weeks, God willing. It has really already begun in the resistance within Sana’a, which is mobilizing.”